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Action List for business owners impacted by COVID-19

Is Covid affecting your bottom line and cash flow? Today I listened to a Workforce Summit Live Webinar with AWB. One of the speakers was from the Thurston Economic Development Council and Center for Business and Innovation. She had some great information that she encouraged others to share. This is copied and pasted off of their COVID-19 Resource Page and it gives some concrete ideas on things businesses can do to help in these unpredictable, unprecedented times.

  • If you are leasing your space contact your landlord and ask them to negotiate lease terms that would allow you to forgo payment on your lease for a few months. Work those missed payments into future slightly increased payments, so the landlord can recoup the missed payments over time.
  • Contact your vendors to see if you can negotiate return or partial return of non-perishable good condition inventory that are currently accounts payable. Explain that you do not want to default on payment but are unable to pay.  Explain that you want to maintain a relationship with them so you can order inventory from them in the future.
  • Explore alternative methods to deliver goods to customers. Take steps to ensure customers understand safety precautions you are taking with these alternative delivery methods and are comfortable with those precautions.
  • Use available lines of credit when necessary. Contact your bank for information on opening lines of credit.  If you have a loan you cannot pay contact your lender immediately to explain the situation.  Contact the Small Business Administration regarding their loan available to small businesses affected by the Coronavirus https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources.
  • Brainstorm with your employees to find alternative sources of revenue and activities they could be doing to produce revenue. If necessary reduce employee hours.  In worst case scenarios provide employees with information for options for unemployment benefits.  Constantly update employees on the businesses status and keep communication open.  Contact Employment Security Department regarding their shared work program that can help you retain employee through partial salary payments.  https://www.esd.wa.gov/SharedWork.
  • Keep your customers up to date with daily social media posts. Use social media posts to show precautions that you are taking as a business to make customers more comfortable with using delivery or online services to make purchases.
  • Trim as many expenses as possible. Reorder only essential products to keep the organization running.
  • Reduce service or good offering temporarily. Keep your best sellers.  Reduce service or good items with higher costs, more risks, and lower profit margins.
  • Sell non-essential assets to generate cash.
  • Contact other businesses to see if you can trade goods and services.
  • Move services online if possible. If you own a yoga studio, for example, hold live classes online and ask your current customers to join those classes. Keep relationships with customers through altered services.
  • Contact your insurance company to see if there are any policy benefits you may have missed that can help you immediately.
  • Contact your state government regarding delaying quarterly tax payments.
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